Mumbai: Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Ram Naik on Saturday said that the proposed establishment of India`s first Womens` varsity in Raebareli to be named after Indira Gandhi, was an objectionable "memory lapse" by the Central Cabinet of nation`s maiden SNDT Women University in Maharashtra, and dubbed the move as "election-oriented".
In a statement, Naik wondered, "Does the Central Cabinet wish the country to forget the glorious educational history of the century - old country`s first Women`s University established by Maharshi Keshav Karve."
"The announcement by the Central Cabinet made on July 11 about the proposed establishment of the country`s `first` Women University in Raebareli to be named after Indira Gandhi is not only opportunistic and 2014 election-oriented but also obsequious and smacks of utter ignorance of country`s educational history," Naik said.
"It is obvious that the decision to establish women`s university at the cost of Rs 500 crore at Raebareli and to name it after late Indira Gandhi is election-oriented.
However, to say that this would be the nation`s first women`s university indicates total ignorance about the history of education in India."
Nearly a century back in 1916, the first women`s university titled `The Indian Women`s University` was established by Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve at Pune. Thereafter, in 1951 the name was changed to Smt Nathibai Damodar Thackersey (SNDT) University` under an Act.
In 1939, Mahatma Gandhi presided over the annual convocation. Moreover in 1941, Dr S Radhakrishnan presided over the silver jubilee function; Prime Minister Pandit Nehru conferred Bharat Ratna on Maharshi Karve in 1958, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi presided over the golden jubilee function in 1966; Telecommunications Minister Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma released special commemoration stamp to mark the diamond jubilee in 1976 followed by the platinum jubilee function in 1991.